Press Release - APRIL 17, 2019

AM Best Affirms Credit Ratings of BMO Reinsurance Limited

 Kevin Varvaro
Financial Analyst
+1 908 439 2200, ext. 5487

William Pargeans
+1 908 439 2200, ext. 5359

Christopher Sharkey
Manager, Public Relations
+1 908 439 2200, ext. 5159

Jim Peavy
Director, Public Relations
+1 908 439 2200, ext. 5644


OLDWICK - APRIL 17, 2019
AM Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating of A (Excellent) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating of “a+” of BMO Reinsurance Limited (BMO Re) (Barbados). The outlook of these Credit Ratings (ratings) is stable.

The ratings reflect BMO Re’s balance sheet strength, which AM Best categorizes as very strong, as well as its strong operating performance, neutral business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management.

BMO Re is an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Bank of Montreal (BMO) and has four underwriting programs in place, including creditor and life reinsurance, property catastrophe and specialty property and casualty. The ratings of BMO Re reflect its stable net income trends, strong return on equity and strong liquidity. In addition, BMO Re continues to maintain the strongest level of risk-adjusted capitalization, as measured by Best’s Capital Adequacy Ratio (BCAR), as well as low levels of credit risk within its investment portfolio, which is invested primarily in highly rated sovereigns, supranationals and corporate bonds.

While recognizing the strength of the ownership relationship with BMO, AM Best notes that volatility in Canada’s economy, along with the banking industry’s move to more digital transactions, losing face-to-face sales opportunities, could impact the creditor life insurance market and BMO Re’s ability to grow premium. Moreover, BMO Re continues to have exposure to potential earnings volatility from its assumed property/casualty (P/C) risk, which saw some unfavorable results on the property catastrophe side in 2017 due to an active hurricane season and on the specialty P/C side in 2018. AM Best notes that the company has risk limits in place to mitigate tail risk and remained highly profitable overall in both years, reflecting solid results in the core creditor reinsurance business line.

This press release relates to Credit Ratings that have been published on AM Best’s website. For all rating information relating to the release and pertinent disclosures, including details of the office responsible for issuing each of the individual ratings referenced in this release, please see AM Best’s Recent Rating Activity web page. For additional information regarding the use and limitations of Credit Rating opinions, please view Understanding Best’s Credit Ratings. For information on the proper media use of Best’s Credit Ratings and AM Best press releases, please view Guide for Media - Proper Use of Best’s Credit Ratings and AM Best Rating Action Press Releases.

AM Best is a global rating agency and information provider with a unique focus on the insurance industry.

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AMB# Company Name
056229 BMO Reinsurance Limited
030194 Bank of Montreal